THU brief 5.26.22
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BOBBY FRANCIS O’ROURKE is just a goober. You knew that. Yesterday reinforced it for the general public.
He can’t help himself. He just can’t.
Given the extreme tackiness, yesterday’s outburst has drawn outsized attention. It’s not, however, new.
Bobby Francis O’Rourke turns himself into a walking meme every four to six weeks. It’s a longstanding pattern.
Add another to the mix.
What’s ironic is that, between his meme-worthy outbursts, one can almost see the outlines of a credible campaign. It’s undoubtedly the case that Greg Abbott is corrupt, Operation Lone Star is a disaster, and the grid remains fragile.
If Bobby Francis O’Rourke ran a disciplined campaign around those themes (and out-of-control property taxes), he could make this race competitive.
As he exists in the real world, however, Bobby Francis O’Rourke is incapable of that level of discipline. He can’t help himself.
In 2019, shortly after the shooting there, we talked with an acquaintance from El Paso. We don’t remember the exact quote, but it went along the lines of “Beto used to be popular in El Paso, but then he made the shooting all about himself. Now everybody hates him.”
Yesterday’s stunt cost O’Rourke (at least) 50,000 votes.
How much worse it gets, however, depends on the next item.
GUN CONTROL is likely to reemerge as a campaign issue for the next few weeks. It won’t move the needle in terms of policy. However, the interesting question is how many Democrats will make ill-considered statements that come back to haunt.
Set the early Over/Under at 5.
Of course, the MSNBC crowd will shriek. You’ll probably see (selectively massaged) polls suggesting “Texas voters support policy x,y, or z.” They’ll introduce new euphemisms.
[Aside: Speaking of polls, we guarantee Greg Abbott’s currently conducting them.]
Please don’t fall for it. The issue isn’t public opinion as it exists a few days/weeks after the tragedy. The problem is a general opinion as it will live in the fall.
2020 was instructive.
Obviously, George Floyd’s death was a tragedy. Nobody wanted to see it happen. Furthermore, law enforcement has genuine issues. For public opinion to well up in the way it did was entirely understandable.
Things didn’t, however, end there.
Shortly after that, that commendable upsurge was hijacked by bad political actors. By August, half the cities in the country were on fire. “Defund the police” became their rallying cry.
The current discussion over guns is likely to follow a similar trajectory.
Furthermore, if they’re stupid enough to try, this discussion will likely accelerate Texas Democrats erosion among Hispanics.
Don’t allow the Democrat’s likely push for gun control to blind you, however, to the much more credible threat posed by Republicans.
See next item.
“MENTAL HEALTH” is returning as an issue. Hang onto your civil liberties.
Furthermore, because Abbott and the lobby are pushing it, it’s likely to ‘pass.’
It's an old playbook. In 2019, Abbott and crew exploited a previous shooting to ram through a so-called ‘mental health initiative’ that was simultaneously a nightmare for individual citizens and a boondoggle for political insiders. It became so unpopular that the Texas House had to resort to illegal measures to ‘pass’ it.
But ‘pass’ it, they did.
Now they’re back for more.
Related: Rahm’s greatest hits.
KEN PAXTON, fresh off of crushing the final elements of the Bush crime family into non-existence, continues to make the right people mad.
Hit the Sports Links
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